Vietnam frustrated by slow pace of talks on South China Sea code of conduct


The country’s foreign minister Pham Bình Minh made the comments after China and Vietnam wrapped up their latest talks on their land and maritime borders on Monday with a pledge to maintain maritime stability.

He told local media that Hanoi was trying to maintain a balance between the United States and China at a time of growing rivalry between the two powers.

“Not only Vietnam, but many other countries, would have to consider how to navigate the situation,” Minh told the state-controlled Viet Nam News.

US and Britain conduct first joint drill in South China Sea
Minh also expressed frustration at the slow progress on the code of conduct for the South China Sea, which has yet to materialise despite years of negotiation.

In August China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed on a single draft negotiating text, and hope to wrap up talks by 2021, but Minh said the process had been “slower than expected”.

He said Vietnam must pursue an independent position and help avoid conflicts in the disputed waters, but described it as the “largest hurdle” to better relations between Hanoi and Beijing.